Access as pedagogy: A case for embracing feminist pedagogy in open and distance learning
- 1. Goldsmiths, University of London
While the mainstream discourse around Open and Distance Learning (ODL) center around standardization, scalability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness, I return to a much more contextual and humane understanding of teaching and learning in ODL through feminist pedagogy. I begin my inquiry by discussing women students’ experiences through the notion of access as pedagogy, which challenges disembodied views of online learners and learning, and a view of access to resources as an opportunity for equity. Issues with gender are the focal point in my discussions; however, I view feminist pedagogy as an ethical position as well as a pedagogical position that calls attentive ways of looking into structuring educational services, methods, policies, and legislations that create an inclusive learning space not just for women, but for all students who are disadvantaged in their education. Within this context, student participation can be framed as a means for transformation, contributing to one’s well-being, agency and sense of power. I highlight the need for an intersectional gender analysis in ODL, as well as openness and transparency in pedagogical processes in order to tackle human and non-human bias, misrecognition, misrepresentation and unequal participation. Education with an explicit goal for transformation leads to the use of technology for reflective, imaginative, and critical ends.
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